The Indian media appears miffed with MS Dhoni’s antics with an Australian journalist who had the ‘insolence’ to ask him the dreaded ‘R’ question.
From the video, it’s obvious the talismanic skipper took the loss to Windies to heart and felt that joking around would take out some of the sting.
The ploy backfired and how.
Suveen Sinha for Hindustan Times wrote:
“When did retirement become about fitness, or even ability? Many cricket players left the game with a triumphant show in their last game. The most recent example is New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum. But for the most telling instance, look no further than Sunil Gavaskar.
Gavaskar’s last Test innings, in which he scored 96 in a losing cause against Pakistan on a snake pit of a pitch, was a true masterclass — a great affair with batting perfection, unlike the brief T20 flings that get talked up these days.
Till the end Gavaskar embodied unthinkable ability, temperament, concentration, technique, and understanding of the pitch, bowling, and match situation. Hell, he even mastered the one-day game at the end of his career, a format he abhorred in the beginning. Yet he kept his date with retirement.”
Vedam Jaishankar for FirstPost responded thus:
“Dhoni mistakenly believed that journalists had to react like fans to every situation. He probably did not realise that fans are expected to be fanatical and most forgiving of the follies of their heroes. Their love and hero-worship could withstand the most horrendous of mistakes or transgressions. Unfortunately that is not how a professional journalist works. He is expected to be a lot more detached, objective and even critical where required. Now that’s the grey area ‘heroes’ don’t understand.”
Samuel Ferris, the offending reporter, was much more circumspect in his description of the incident.
“For the record, I never asked if he was going to retire, just how keen he was to play on. I’m not trying to retire one of the greats.
I even prefaced it with ‘You’ve achieved pretty much everything in cricket’ to soften the blow and try to make me not look like some blood-thirsty mosquito looking for a headline (which I most definitely was).
Then he smiles and asks if I can repeat it. Great, I mumbled. I pony up again and ask, and instead of an answer I get an invitation.
An invitation to come join him on stage. At first I politely decline, but he insists.
Who am I to turn down India’s greatest-ever captain?
I’m welcomed with a warm embrace, a sympathetic arm around my shoulder and a crisp white smile, the same smile I’ve seen on a dozen commercials featuring Dhoni on Indian television selling a vast range of products.”
We all know what happened next.
All said, the question won’t go away until Team India starts winning again or Dhoni actually quits.